Prompt: What are examples of books you’ve thrown across the room? Why did you throw them?
Ah. A chance to rant. *rubs hands* Let’s go.
This ending. Why.
So, the whole rest of the series is completely awesome. I loved all the other Red Rock Mysteries, but this book epically failed at tying up the series.
Through the whole series, there are a couple of subplots that progress very slowly. Let me show you how this one book slaughters them.
Subplot 1: Their dad’s killer
So their dad died in a plane crash. Seemingly an accident and all that. But apparently it wasn’t. The plane was made to crash by a terrorist who was actually trying to kill Sam, the guy who later becomes their stepdad. He wasn’t on the plane, so he survived, but he feels responsible for all those people who died in the crash. And so his whole secret agent career is centered on trying to find that terrorist and bring him to justice.
There aren’t too many updates on this front, but throughout the series it does keep you posted that Sam is still chasing the guy. He’ll catch him. Sometime. Presumably in the last book.
Subplot 2: Saving friends and family
This is a Christian book series, so of course there will be the question of salvation for the characters. There are three main targets of this subplot.
- Sam, the stepdad
- Leigh, the stepsister
- Marion, a friend of the main character girl, Ashley
And none of the previous books show them succeeding in convincing them of their need for salvation. It always ends on a rather wistful note of “Oh, they’ll see someday. Don’t worry.”
Of course, this also looked like it would wrap up in the last book.
I had some pretty big expectations for this book.
Big expectations that proceeded to be trampled into the mud never to rise again.
Okay, and now I’ll tell you how the book ends.
Bryce, the brother, is in his school, which is about to be blown up by the terrorist guy. He’s doing his best to stop the guy himself, but doesn’t succeed and gets locked in the basement. He gets out and onto the schoolyard, where he sees his stepdad and a bunch of police and secret agent people surrounding the building.
His stepdad says something along the lines of “This isn’t your fight, son.” And goes heroically towards the building to finally stop this fiend he’s been chasing all these years.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch . . . their house has been blown up by the terrorist’s henchmen and now sits in a pile of smoldering ruins along with all their earthly possessions. Thankfully, no one was there but their old dog, who was heartlessly shot down for no reason at all. The whole family except the stepdad comes back and gapes at the purposeless destruction for a few minutes before stepdad dramatically makes his entrance via black helicopter.
He informs them that the terrorist got away and they’ll probably never find him again. In the meantime, no one in town can know that their family survived the bombing of their house. They must move away and not tell any of their friends where they are going and as far as anyone in the world (except the government) is concerned, the Timberline family went up in a giant ball of flames.
Oh yeah, and no one they were trying to bring to God actually came to God. So, mission failure, I guess.
And the last page shows Bryce, dramatically looking off into the sunset by his new home and thinking “There must be some good in this, somewhere.”
WHAT THE HECK?!
I did not physically chuck it across the room (because I have little siblings and I don’t want to clock them in the head), but I did slam it down very angrily on the coffee table and stomp off to rant to my brother.
Someday I am going to rewrite that ending myself. A fanfiction to save the whole dang series for all the sorely disappointed fans out there.
A little boy is trying to win a dogsled race for the prize money so he can help his poor, ailing grandfather. But he and his one dog (Searchlight) are going up against many professional racers, including the Indian, Stone Fox, and his team of seven big white huskies.
Okay, I like dogs. Dog stories are great. When the dog is heroic and smart and my favorite character it’s even better.
When you kill the dog off at the climactic moment and don’t even give any consolation of an achieved story goal to the poor, grieving main character . . .
No. Just don’t, please. What, do you think the readers are going to actually like that?
The dog is going as fast as she possibly can and then, 100 feet from the finish line, her heart bursts.
The little boy does the whole “No! Don’t be dead!” thing and cries because his poor little heart is broken. And the only reason he wins is that Stone Fox has a change of heart, pulls out a shotgun and threatens to shoot anyone who tries to cross the finish line before the little boy.
The last page “happy ending” is that the little boy gets to drag the body of his dead dog over the finish line.
There’s an artfully sad ending, and then there’s that.
It just broke my heart because it could.
Don’t do That.
Stone Fox got chucked halfway across the room. No one was there, but I didn’t want to hit the lamp.
Terrestria Chronicles: The Dragon’s Egg
This one, unlike the others actually had a happy ending. But the main character’s behavior through the whole book was inexcusable.
So, it’s an allegory. The classic medieval/Christian deal. Our *cough* hero, Josiah, is offered a dragon’s egg, something he is expressly forbidden by his King to own. At first he refuses, but then in the rousing spirit of “Eh, whatever” he accepts it. Josiah then proceeds to push aside his better judgment for 100 more pages.
And what’s ridiculous is that he knows what he’s supposed to do and, almost without exception in this book, ignores it, even when he sees it’s for his own good.
This was a read aloud in our family, and everyone agreed that we wanted to step in the book and give Josiah a slap. That should not be how the audience relates to main characters.
As I said before, this was a read-aloud, so if anyone could physically chuck the book, it would be my mom. But she had all her kids sitting around she and she’s a nice mom. So she probably waited until we were out of the room.
So, that about wraps up the books that live in infamy with me.
Writing about books I hate was a lot more fun than I expected. 🙂
What are some books you’ve thrown across the room and why?
Ever read any of the books I’ve listed?